Wet Set Pin Curling

After last week’s foam roller fail, I decided to give pin curling a try.  Pin curls are formed by rolling damp sections of hair in a coil from tip to root, then pinning it in place against your scalp to dry.  When your hair is damp, you can force the strands to take on a different shape as they dry because the molecular bonds are open to reshaping.

I picked up a “setting lotion” on sale from a hairdressers in town, with the plan of using it to help give my curls the best chance of working.  A setting lotion is any fluid that is designed to help your hair form and maintain the shape in which you set it.  I’m using “T-force Regular Curly shaping fluid”.SONY DSC

I started with dry hair, tipping a little setting lotion onto my finger tips before running them along each section of hair as I got ready to roll it (just enough to dampen the hair evenly).  Rather than just using my fingers to form the curls, I used the Pin Sculpture Tool, which I picked up on Ebay from an Australian seller a few years ago for about $15.  You use the tool by running in to the ends of your hair section like a comb, then rolling it toward your scalp and slipping the resulting coil off the tool, ready to pin.WIN_20150830_212549

The hair sections at the front of my head were about an inch wide and fairly thin.


You can roll the hair under or over to tool, either following a setting pattern from a book, or as a result of trial and error.  I chose to alternate curls, doing one under then one over, with the expectation that this will provide a nice wavy curl.WIN_20150830_212621

I first did the hairline alongside my face on one side, before repeating on the other side of my face.

pin curls 1

I then went back to the first side and began a second column of curls from the top of my head toward my ear – again, with curls alternating over and under.

Pin curls 2


I continued like this, working toward the back of my head evenly, doing one column on the right side of my head then repeating on the left, until I had reached the back of my head with the final column.  The hair sections at the back of my head were a bit thicker than those at the front.

pin curls 3

Note that with the exception of the initial curls along my front hairline, I did not roll the curls all the way to the scalp.  I want a vintage flat-crown look, so I stopped rolling at just above ear height, pinning the curls with several inches of flat, uncurled hair still remaining at the root.


It took me about twenty to twenty five minutes to do all the curls, after which I tied my silk headscarf over the top and went to bed.  The pin curl clips were surprisingly comfortable to sleep in – much more so than the bulky foam or bendy foam rollers.


I went to work this morning with my hair still pinned up, as I didn’t want my new curls to be affected by getting sweaty from cleaning.  On arriving home and after a shower with a shower cap to keep my hair dry, it was time to take the pins out and see if this was a more successful effort than my foam rollers!


I ended up with quite good coil curls everywhere except for one forlorn section of hair that was mysteriously still damp when I took it out and thus fell straight.  I simply curled this section with the Curl Secret to fix the problem, then got to work finger combing my hair.

The next step was to brush it, using my Lady Jayne boar hair brush.


After a few minutes of brushing, the wildness had calmed down enough that I decided my hair would do for the day (I expect the curls will look better tomorrow, after a day to settle in), so I pinned one side back with a rhinestone clip and called it a day.  Success?  Well, certainly better than my foam rollers attempt.  I still much prefer the speed and look of my hair when curled with bendy foam rollers, or using the Curl Secret, but I can see myself practicing pin curls more in the future.  I’ll update this with a photo tomorrow morning to show how the curls have settled (and hopefully with some makeup on, next time!)WIN_20150831_105223


About Vera Gin

A pinup/vintage/retro style fan from sunny Queensland, Australia.
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2 Responses to Wet Set Pin Curling

  1. Polly says:

    My sister (who takes hair a lot more seriously than I do) is threatening to bring her straighteners up when she visits next month so that she can experiment on my naturally-curly hair. Could be interesting.


  2. Vera Gin says:

    Oh dear…could be a step into a whole new world of styles…or a disaster 😜


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